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Orlov goal disallowed on controversial challenge

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Orlov goal disallowed on controversial challenge

In a night where nothing seemed to go right for the Caps, when they did finally manage to get on the board and take the first step towards a rally against the San Jose Sharks, a coach's challenge ended that rally before it could even begin. San Jose goalie Martin Jones shutout the Caps in a 5-0 win on Tuesday with an assist by referee Tim Peel who disallowed the Caps' only goal of the night after a coach's challenge for goalie interference.

"I was going, 'Really?' That's pretty light on that side," said head coach Barry Trotz.

The coach's challenge is new to the NHL this season. If a team still has a timeout, coaches can challenge goals asserting that the scoring team was either offsides or interfered with the goalie. San Jose coach Peter DeBoer put his challenge to good use on Tuesday to deny the Caps their only goal.

"It took a little air out of our balloon for sure," Matt Niskanen said. "That's the new thing though. They get to have a second look at it and overall that's a good rule I think."

With the Caps trailing 3-0 in the second period, it appeared as if they had pulled one back as Dmitry Orlov rifled a shot from the slot past Jones. DeBoer, however, begged to differ and challenged the play asserting that Jay Beagle had interfered with the San Jose netminder.

The play seemed innocent. As Orlov was winding up his shot, Beagle skated from Jones' left and brushed past the goalie as he positioned himself for the screen. Whatever contact there was between Beagle and Jones was minimal. Goalies are usually very vocal when they believe they have been interfered with, but even Jones had no reaction after the goal was scored.

RELATED: Orlov goal in second period waived off following coach's challenge

Yet, after the review Peel ruled that Jones had indeed been interfered with on the play and waived off the goal.

The league released this statement on the play via its Situation Room Blog:

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that Washington's Jay Beagle interfered with Jones before the puck crossed the goal line. According to Rule 78.7, "The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL' call on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that the goal should have been disallowed due to ‘Interference on the Goalkeeper,' as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4."

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Washington Capitals.

But was this goaltender interference?

The only contact was a slight brush of the goalie glove which Jones wears on his left hand. The shot went to Jones' right meaning his ability to move or stop the shot was not impaired at all. The sticking point, however, was likely the contact itself.

According to Rule 69.3, "If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and the goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed."

"To the letter of the law it was a good call, I guess," Trotz said. "I don't totally agree, but because it went against me obviously."

Overhead views of the play show that Beagle did in fact contact Jones in the crease, which by rule is goalie interference. But, clearly a situation such as this was not what was meant by the goalie interference rule or why the coach's challenge was implemented.

"You get bumped like that on 10 plays a game," Braden Holtby said. "I think the ruling was supposed to be put in there for the stuff that the ref can't see that's blatant. I think that's a clean hockey play.

"If it happened to me I wouldn't even think about complaining about it. I hope that's not the standard. I hope that goalies have to still battle a bit for position."

No one could argue this was why the Caps lost. They were outplayed from the opening faceoff, they took three penalties in the game's first 20 minutes and they were without both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. There's certainly no guarantee that had that goal been allowed, the Caps would have been able to rally.

But there was no guarantee that they would not have either.

If this Peel's decision is a reflection of the standard referees will now hold skaters to on challenges, this also could have much larger implications outside of this one game. If this is how closely the officials are going to follow the letter of the law, expect to see a lot more challenges throughout the NHL.

When asked if he learned something from his first experience with a coach's challenge, Trotz answered, "Yeah, any incidental contact, just call it. That's the standard that seems to be set now."

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals blitzed by Sharks in 5-0 loss

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME ON?

The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Michal Kempney, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-LIGHTNING OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.

MORE CAPITALS: BIZARRE SEQUENCE LEADS TO CAPS SCORING AND GETTING PENALIZED AT THE SAME TIME

A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE 3 STARS OF THE GAME FROM CAPS-SABRE